HC Deb 05 July 1977 vol 934 cc514-5W
38. Mr. Willey

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he is taking in view of the persisting and exceptional high level of juvenile unemployment in Sunderland, to ensure that every youngster leaving school including the handicapped, should, if unemployed, have a training place or a relevant further education opportunity.

Mr. Golding

As my right hon. Friend announced in the House on 29th June, he has asked the Manpower Services Commission to operate a new programme of opportunities for young people on the lines of the proposals in its working party's report on "Young People and Work".

The programme will provide young people with a range of work preparation and work experience courses which are intended to improve their employment prospects. Resources under the programme will be distributed to different areas according to their levels of youth unemployment and it is the firm intention that no summer or Easter school leavers who remain unemployed the following Easter remain without the offer of a place under the programme.

Priority will be given to providing places for those with the poorest employment prospects, including the disadvantaged and handicapped.

The programme will be in full operation by September 1978. Until then, there will be a progressive build up of places in work preparation courses from this September, the Work Experience Programme will continue into the new programme, the Job Creation Programme will be open for applications until the end of the year; and the Youth Employment Subsidy has been extended until 31st March 1978. As a result, there will be over 30,000 more places available this autumn than last year.

In addition to these measures, resources will be made available to enable local education authorities throughout Great Britain to provide an additional 10,000 places in further education over and above present projections by 1980–81.

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